Today the United States Third Circuit Court Of Appeals issued a major ruling against Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds Nancy Becker. Becker filed a class action on behalf of all Recorder of Deeds in Pennsylvania Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. ("MERS") seeking to recover millions in "so called" unpaid recording fees and an order to compel MERS to record and pay fees for recording mortgage assignments. Becker was successful before the United States District Court and today the United States third Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and dismissed Becker's case.
As background information, MERS is a national electronic loan registry system. It permits its members to freely transfer promissory notes associated with mortgages while MERS remains the mortgagee or mortgage holder of record as nominee for the actual note holder. This system was created, in part, to reduce costs associated with the transfer of promissory notes. Becker was seeking to require that those assignments be recorded and that a fee be paid to the Recorder of Deeds.
The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that the Pennsylvania Recording statute found at 21 Pa.C.S. A. section 351 does not mandate that the assignments be recorded. According to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, Becker's class action lawsuit was based upon a flawed premise that the recording statute required the assignments to be recorded. As a result, Becker's class action should have been dismissed by the United States District Court.
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